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BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 159: THE REPLACEMENT PLAN
Published January 17, 1995
MLB's Executive Council has approved the recommendation of the Operating Committee on the guidelines for the use of replacement players. The directive asks the clubs to prepare for opening spring training and the season "on time," including playing the World Series with replacements, if necessary. Acting MLB Commissioner Bud Selig: "We are committed to playing the 1995 season and will do so with the best players willing to play" (MLB). Red Sox CEO John Harrington said a replacement plan was drawn up because "the No. 1 priority is maintaining the framework of a business that, once the player strike is over, must return to normal" (Larry Whiteside, BOSTON GLOBE, 1/15). ANGELOS STANDS PAT: Orioles Owner Peter Angelos continues to refuse to field a replacement team, and club sources also indicated that the Orioles will likely refuse to participate in spring training games (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST, 1/15). Sources say that the only possibility that might cause Angelos to field a team is if MLB can "lift the franchise" from the Angelos ownership group (Peter Schmuck, Baltimore SUN, 1/14). The Orioles have hired a polling firm to determine whether fans are opposed to replacements (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST, 1/17). CHAOS: In his Sunday column, Peter Gammons examines the chaos facing MLB's front offices -- from hiring replacements to fitting teams under the new cap. As for the use of replacements, Gammons notes that no current agent will or can represent a "scab." Greg Clifton, CEO of Bob Woolf Associates: "One cannot represent a [MLB] player and someone who is trying to take that player's job or bust his union." Gammons closes by noting that teams may spend less even without a cap since revenues for the next couple of years are certain to be lower (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/15). UNION NEWS: MLBPA Exec Dir Donald Fehr continued his players tour with a stop in Dallas last Friday. In attendance was the Astros' Greg Swindell who apologized" to his fellow players for comments made last month that he would consider crossing the picket line (Sullivan & Lonnquist, FT. WORTH STAR- TELEGRAM, 1/14). Dennis Gilbert, Barry Bonds' agent, denies the rumor that Bonds may cross the line (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 1/15). In New York, Tom Keegan notes the dispute that local unions are having with Frank Thomas because Thomas is using non-union labor to help build his mansion. Keegan also wonders whether Thomas would possibly cross the picket line (N.Y. POST, 1/17). NEXT? Special Mediator Bill Usery plans on meeting with both sides this week in the hopes of setting up joint bargaining sessions (Mult., 1/16).